Just four weeks remain in the NFL regular season, with numerous teams jockeying for playoff position.

The final month should therefore make it very interesting when picking spreads, and after three straight sub-.500 weeks, I’m personally just trying to keep it simple, and stick with my standard plan of making picks… or picking “my knows”, as I often call it.

My partner in crime, the SportsChump, has had three straight solid weeks, and continues to gloat over at his always entertaining website.

Still buried in a tryptophan haze and a pie-eating hangover, let’s just shift to last week’s results.

Week 13 Results:

KP (TWHS) – 7-9

Coin Flip – 8-8

Special Guest (Tom Lancaster) – 4-12

Sports Chump – 10-6

The WIFE (that HATES sports) – 10-6

Week 14 features some great games, headlined by Seahawks-Eagles.

Over in the Pick Your Knows department, well, yes, the WIFE was great yet again.  I’m not yet huddled in a corner rocking back and forth, but that could come soon.

2014 NFL Season Standings (Against the Spread)

Knows Picker

Record (ATS)

GB

The WIFE

103-89

KP (TWHS)

98-94

5

Special Guests

93-98-1

9.5

Coin Flip

93-99

10

Sports Chump

91-97-4

10

  • A push is counted as a tie in the standings
  • Slight variation in spreads due to time and site used for picks
Russell Wilson leads the Seattle Seahawks offense

Russell Wilson and the Seahawks face the Eagles this weekend

It’s once again time to “Pick Your Knows – the only time it’s not a disgusting habit – and here are Week 14’s scheduled games (with spreads as they appeared through CBS Sports on 12/3/14).

KP’s “Pick Your Knows”: 2014 NFL Week 14 Picks

KP’s Week 13 Recap (Season Total):

Against the Spread: 7-9 (98-94, 51%)

Straight Up: 10-6 (125-67, 65%)

Dallas Cowboys at Chicago Bears (+3.5)

To make this pick, let’s look closer at Chicago’s struggling defense.  Specifically, here’s how the Bears fared against some of the league’s best offenses: Packers (55 points and 38 points), Patriots (51 points) and the Lions, with Calvin Johnson (34 points on Thanksgiving).  Dallas has a strong and balanced offense, which starts with DeMarco Murray.  Chicago is 10th against the run, so there’s some hope there, but that could be squashed by the Bears’ passing defense, which is 30th in the NFL and has allowed 27 TD’s through the air.  The Bears have the offensive weapons to make this a shootout, but I like Dallas to overpower Chicago’s struggling ‘D’.  Cowboys cover on the road.

Against the Spread: Dallas Cowboys

Straight Up: Dallas Cowboys

Update: Chicago’s defense still stinks; Cowboys win 41-28

New York Giants at Tennessee Titans (-0.5)

Last week seemed like a no-brainer when the Giants faced the Jags, with Rashad Jennings back and Odell Beckham Jr. on a tear.  Now, the only clear thing might be that this is the dud of the week.  Jennings may miss more time, which would leave Andre Williams with the majority of the carries, and he has been mostly ineffective.  Both teams are similarly ranked in pass defense and each occupies the bottom two spots in run defense.  Neither has an explosive running game, however, especially if Jennings does not play.  With a tossup line, I will stick with the Giants, and not because I am a glutton for punishment, but because I believe in the talents of Odell Beckham.  Giants win…barely.

Against the Spread: New York Giants

Straight Up: New York Giants

St. Louis Rams at Washington Redskins (+2.5)

The Redskins continue to be a mess, getting trounced by the Colts last week, and that’s even after Colt McCoy put up respectable numbers.  The Rams destroyed the Raiders and continue to be an under the radar team.  The Redskins have allowed 39 sacks on the year, the second most in the NFL, and could have trouble stopping an aggressive St. Louis pass rush.  Take the Rams with confidence, especially when considering the current state of this Washington franchise.

Against the Spread: St. Louis Rams

Straight Up: St. Louis Rams

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5)

It’s a big-time divisional rivalry, with two teams battling for the division, and possible playoff position.  The Steelers are 18-9 against the spread in head-to-head match ups against the Bengals.  Pittsburgh appears to struggle against the poor teams, but step up against playoff contenders.  With the division still within reach and a passing offense that is ranked in the top five, I like the Steelers to keep this game close.  A late Cincy field goal decides this one.

Against the Spread: Pittsburgh Steelers

Straight Up: Cincinnati Bengals

Indianapolis Colts at Cleveland Browns (+3.5)

Brian Hoyer gets another shot to start, but will have to stick with Andrew Luck and an Indianapolis Colts passing offense that is number one in the NFL (326.2 ypg).  Cleveland’s pass defense is solid, with an NFL-high 17 interceptions and a shutdown corner in Joe Haden.  But the Colts just have so many weapons on offense, it’s hard to see the Browns being able to keep up.  Indy covers.

Against the Spread: Indianapolis Colts

Straight Up: Indianapolis Colts

Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-9.5)

The Panthers have given up 30 or more points in each of its last five road games, and now travel to New Orleans to face Drew Brees, the Saints and the third-ranked passing offense in the NFL.  Greg Olsen, one of Carolina’s key offensive weapons, is questionable with a knee injury.  I like the Saints to take advantage of a struggling Carolina defense at home.  New Orleans covers.

Against the Spread: New Orleans Saints

Straight Up: New Orleans Saints

Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars (+4.5)

The Jaguars are 26th against the run, not only allowing 129.4 yards per game, but also an NFL-high 14 carries of 20 or more yards.  That ugly stat takes us to the Texans, a team that averages 134.1 yards per game on the ground, which is 4th in the NFL.  J.J. Watt and the Houston defense will likely also feast on a Jacksonville team that has allowed 50 sacks on the season.  Texans cover easily.

Against the Spread: Houston Texans

Straight Up: Houston Texans

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions (-9.5)

Reggie Bush is likely to return, which should add a boost to a Detroit offense that woke up versus Chicago on Thanksgiving.  Calvin Johnson posted his biggest game of the season, and finally appears to be healthy.  Tampa Bay’s defense is very beatable, much like the Bears – and when you add Bush in the mix, along with a few extra days rest, home field advantage and a healthy Calvin Johnson, I like Matthew Stafford and the Lions to feast the Bucs.  Detroit covers.

Against the Spread: Detroit Lions

Straight Up: Detroit Lions

New York Jets at Minnesota Vikings (-5.5)

Jerick McKinnon has been placed on IR and is out for the season, leading to a lack of depth on offense for the Vikings.  The Jets are third against the run and likely will hold Minnesota’s run game in check.  But New York’s pass ‘D’ has just 4 INT’s on the year and has allowed opposing QB’s to post a 106.6 QB rating.  Minnesota is fourth in sacks and should have some success in the trenches.  All in all, I like the Vikes at home, but think Rex Ryan’s team could keep this one close.  Take the Jets and the points.

Against the Spread: New York Jets

Straight Up: Minnesota Vikings

Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins (-3.5)

Haloti Ngata has been suspended for four games, therefore removing a Pro Bowl DT from Baltimore’s defense.  Defensively, I like Miami’s second ranked pass defense, which allows just 198.2 yards per game through the air and is holding opposing QB’s to a 81.6 QB rating.  Baltimore has the weapons on offense, but it could be a tough day for Joe Flacco.  The Dolphins have played really well at home, and find a way to cover against a Ravens team fighting with them for a playoff spot.

Against the Spread: Miami Dolphins

Straight Up: Miami Dolphins

Buffalo Bills at Denver Broncos (-10.5)

The Broncos have Peyton Manning, home field advantage and a boatload of offensive weapons.  But the Bills are a very solid team defensively, with the league’s most sacks (48) and a pass defense that is ranked fifth in yards, while managing more INT’s (15) than TD’s allowed (14).  For these reasons, I like Buffalo’s defense to keep them in the game.  The Bills can keep this one in single digits, but don’t have the horses offensively to upset Denver on the road.  Take Buffalo and the points.

Against the Spread: Buffalo Bills

Straight Up: Denver Broncos

Kansas City Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals (-1.5)

The Cardinals are fading and having trouble recovering from too many injuries.  Drew Stanton has also struggled and Andre Ellington will miss the game due to a hip injury.  Tyrann Mathieu is also out.  Arizona will need a knockout performance from its sixth-ranked run defense, which will have its hands full with Jamaal Charles and a Kansas City run game that averages 129.1 yards per game and has 16 rushing touchdowns.  I like a much healthier Chiefs team in this matchup.

Against the Spread: Kansas City Chiefs

Straight Up: Kansas City Chiefs

Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles (-1.5)

Both teams have had a few extra days to rest following big wins on Thanksgiving.  The Seahawks have clamped down on teams defensively, allowing zero touchdowns over its last two games and just six points combined against the Cardinals and 49ers.  It will be a challenge against Chip Kelly’s high-octane offense, and an Eagles team that is 6-0 at home on the season.  But Seattle is third in the NFL against the pass, allowing just 15 TD’s in 12 games.  In arguably the best game of the week, I’m leaning on Seattle’s defense, which is red hot.  Seahawks find a way to win on the road.

Against the Spread: Seattle Seahawks

Straight Up: Seattle Seahawks

San Francisco 49ers at Oakland Raiders (+7.5)

The 49ers have had a few extra days to rest following a bad loss against Seattle on Thanksgiving.  Rumors continue to swirl around Jim Harbaugh and whether he’ll coach the team next season.  But the Raiders have cured a lot of ills this season, and I like the 49ers to bounce back in a big way.

Against the Spread: San Francisco 49ers

Straight Up: San Francisco 49ers

New England Patriots at San Diego Chargers (+3.5)

The Chargers have been very inconsistent offensively over the last month or so, and will need to be clicking on all cylinders when facing Tom Brady and the Patriots.  But San Diego is 28th in rushing offense, managing just 87.3 yards per game and 5 TD’s on the ground.  That likely leaves Philip Rivers and the passing game having to carry an offense, facing a New England defense that while ranked 22nd in passing yards allowed, has held opposing QB’s to a 84.6 QB rating.  I like Brady to have a big day on the West Coast and the New England defense to follow suit.  Pats cover on the road.

Against the Spread: New England Patriots

Straight Up: New England Patriots

Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers (-11.5)

The Packers are 6-0 at home after coming off a huge victory against the Patriots last week.  Aaron Rodgers should have another big day, facing an Atlanta pass defense that is last in the NFL, allowing 284.9 yards per game.  The Falcons have allowed just 15 TD’s through the air, but the yards come in bunches, and Green Bay’s offense is one of the best in the league.  Matt Ryan and the Falcons could turn this into a shootout, but with Rodgers and home field advantage, Green Bay should pull away in the second half, winning by at least two touchdowns.  Packers cover at Lambeau.

Against the Spread: Green Bay Packers

Straight Up: Green Bay Packers

…..

THE WIFE

She HATES sports, but will pick teams in hopes of leading to your embarrassment.  No blurb, just her selection.  Heck, we’re lucky to get that much.

Dallas Cowboys at Chicago Bears (+3.5) – Bears

New York Giants at Tennessee Titans (-0.5) – Titans

St. Louis Rams at Washington Redskins (+2.5) – Rams

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5) – Bengals

Indianapolis Colts at Cleveland Browns (+3.5) – Colts

Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-9.5) – Saints

Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars (+4.5) – Jaguars

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions (-9.5) – Lions

New York Jets at Minnesota Vikings (-5.5) – Jets

Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins (-3.5) – Ravens

Buffalo Bills at Denver Broncos (-10.5) – Broncos

Kansas City Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals (-1.5) – Cardinals

Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles (-1.5) – Eagles

San Francisco 49ers at Oakland Raiders (+7.5) – Raiders

New England Patriots at San Diego Chargers (+3.5) – Patriots

Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers (-11.5) – Packers

…..

COIN FLIP

This quarter refuses to be referred to as “Chump change”… see what I did there?  Oh, and by the way, HEADS equals the HOME team, and TAILS is a vote for the AWAY team.

Dallas Cowboys at Chicago Bears (+3.5) – Cowboys

New York Giants at Tennessee Titans (-0.5) – Giants

St. Louis Rams at Washington Redskins (+2.5) – Redskins

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5) – Bengals

Indianapolis Colts at Cleveland Browns (+3.5) – Browns

Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-9.5) – Panthers

Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars (+4.5) – Jaguars

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions (-9.5) – Lions

New York Jets at Minnesota Vikings (-5.5) – Vikings

Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins (-3.5) – Ravens

Buffalo Bills at Denver Broncos (-10.5) – Bills

Kansas City Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals (-1.5) – Chiefs

Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles (-1.5) – Eagles

San Francisco 49ers at Oakland Raiders (+7.5) – 49ers

New England Patriots at San Diego Chargers (+3.5) – Patriots

Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers (-11.5) – Packers

…..

SPORTSCHUMP’S Picks

Check out the Chump’s site for his full listing.  Here are a few select games:

SEATTLE +1 at PHILADELPHIA

Seattle is yet involved in another fantastic contest this weekend.  I’ve been underestimating Philly all season long.  I don’t see why I should stop now.  Chip Kelly’s offense against the Seattle Seahawks defense?  Count me in.  By the way, this over/under is 48.5.  That seems high, doesn’t it?  That leads me to believe Las Vegas thinks Philadelphia will be the one controlling this tempo.  In what could be a Super Bowl preview, I’ll go ahead and take Philly at home.  WAIT A SECOND!  I just remembered Mark Sanchez is starting for Philadelphia.  Richard Sherman’s eyes just lit up.  Boom goes the dynamite!  I’m changing my pick mid-paragraph and taking the ‘Hawks.

NEW ENGLAND -3 at SAN DIEGO

Tom Brady seemed a little perturbed last week, shouting “Fuck!” at the top of his lungs as his team lost to the Green Bay Packers.  If he’s able to channel some of that anger and bring it cross country, the Chargers could be in trouble.  So what do I see here?  Do I see a Pats team losing two straight or do I see an inspired Chargers team that needs this win far more than the Pats do rising up to the occasion?  What I do see is a tight ballgame.  I also see an upset.  Give me the Chargers and the points at home and let the cloud of Patriots post-season doubt creep in once again.

ATLANTA +12 at GREEN BAY

Wow, I know the Packers are hot right now but 12 points is a lot to lay.  This is the biggest spread of the weekend and it just happens to be on Monday night.  The Falcons can put up some points though, enough so that a back door cover is not out of the realm of possibility.

…..

Special Guest: Rising Storms

This week’s special guest is a friend of the Chump.  His full slate of picks is featured over at SportsChump, but here’s a sneak peak:

Steelers at Cincy (-3)

Pittsburgh, aside from a couple of miracle games from Big Ben, hasn’t really impressed me at all this year.  I like the Bengals at home.

St.Louis at Washington (even)

Umm, the Rams should pretty easily handle the garbage fire that is the ‘Skins.

Carolina at the Saints (-10)

This might be the no brainer of the week.  The Saints in a blowout.  I’m just wondering if 10 points might be a little on the low side.